Friday, May 6, 2011

No Woman Left Behind

Some men are afraid of women, specifically strong women, women who are independent, capable, willing to work and scrape and fight for what they want. For some reason, the idea of women being as capable as they are, frightens them. It goes against their personal sensibilities, their sense of entitlement, their lust for total control and power. As long as they could look upon women as the "lesser" gender, as long as women "knew their place," they were happy. Now, they are scared.

These men often occupy positions of power, and they wield that power in any way they can to hold women down, to beat them back, to wrest control from them. Take, for example, the execrable legislation just passed in the House of Representatives: H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. The bill itself is pointless, in that it simply reinforces already extant legislation (the Hyde Amendment), forbidding the spending of Federal funds on abortions or abortion-related services. Even so, it is significant, because it marks a blatant slap in the face of every woman. A bunch of mainly older white men, decided, more-or-less unilaterally, that women were incapable of making decisions about whether to have an abortion or not, and they would make it for them, by choking off a funding source, making it that much harder to get one.

So much for getting government off our backs.

At every turn, where women seek a level playing field, or to retain the rights they have worked so hard for, or even to just be treated as normal human beings, this cabal of older white men has been there, attempting to thwart them. Legislators, clergy, business leaders, law enforcement authorities, military authorities... everywhere white men sit in positions of power, they make it a point to shove a collective finger into the chest of women and say "You don't belong here!" They demonize women. They minimize women. The sexualize women. They disenfranchise women.

Several thousand years of the status quo is crumbling around them, thanks to the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Age, and the Information Age. Slowly, women came out from behind men, stopped allowing themselves to be denigrated as a matter of course, and took matters into their own hands, breaking free of the tradition roles they were tied to, and striking out in new directions. We applaud their efforts at every turn, because fighting back against thousands of years of repression at the hands of men is not an easy task. Yet, forward they march, and many men, such as myself, march in lockstep with them.

And still, at the pinnacles of power, is the resistance of thousands of generations of dominance. Men, accustomed to being at the top, refuse to let go of the seats of power so easily. To that end, a clash of titans has erupted, as the force of the movement of women moving up in the world smashes into the sedentary mass of entrenched manhood. Not nearly and irresistible force, nor immovable object, for eventually women will batter down the fortress of iniquity and misogyny that is the bastion of male power in this world.

For right now though, it seems bleak to anyone who looks at the whole picture. On so many fronts, in so many places, the rights of women are being compromised and eroded by men who claim "Christian" values, but do not have a compassionate bone in their body. They would force women to be cattle, fit only for breeding, by denying them birth control, denying them the morning-after pill, denying them abortions, and then denying them the resources they need to raise the baby they did not want. They will shame women at every turn, disregard their complaints, blame them for their foibles and lack of self-control, make them feel bad about themselves, drive them to alcoholism, anorexia, and death, all to retain their grip on power.

It is pitiful, that these mewling, self-absorbed, power-mad men and their cronies, all born of the womb of mothers who wanted nothing but good for them and for humanity, would then turn on the female gender, attempting to make it once more subservient to their whim, placing blame anywhere but upon their own head. They will not own up to their own assignations or malfeasance, as if they are simply "the price of doing business." They will rail about values, even as they prove they have none to speak of. These Sons of Janus, will whisper sweet nothings from one mouth, while talking amongst themselves with the other, spelling out their plan to doom womanhood to despair and damnation.

Bleak though it may seem, there is hope, but it will take the combined might of outraged and strident womanhood, and with their like-minded male compatriots, to stab at the heart of these monsters, uprooting them from their positions of power, and placing them upon the compost heap of history. It is not enough to get others to see reality, to convince them to join the fight, but to rally each and every one of us who, as decent people, are sickened by this bald-faced attempt to strike down decades of female suffrage in order to continue their dominance of the halls of power. Let them tremble at the thought, that in their rush to enforce their own antiquated and sordid beliefs about the rightness of male dominance, they have cut the supports out from underneath their position, and the swell of honorable humanity will rise up to tip them over and dump them from their thrones. Let it be written now, and for all time, that this point in history marked the end of misogyny, and the beginning of united humanity.


  1. Beautifully said, Newt. The good fight continues, and I'm glad we have men like you on our side.

  2. After decades of working towards a social system in which women and men can make mutually consensual decisions about the roles they will share, the last efforts of a dying order to revert women back to a subjugated status can and must fail. Thank you, Newt, for your compassion and your strong voice in support of human rights.